photo of James Williams

Mr James Williams

Post:Lecturer in Education (Education)
Location:ESSEX HOUSE EH 209
Personal homepage:153595

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 877132
International:+44 1273 877132

Research expertise:
download vCarddownload vCard to your mobile




Lecturer in Science Education


I graduated in Geology from the University of London and trained as a science teacher at Chelsea College, Centre for Science and Maths Education, University of London. I taught science in North London (Enfield), South London (Croydon) and Surrey. I have worked as a head of biology, head of year and head of science. I entered teacher education in 1997. In 2006 I filmed a six-part TV history/reality series for Channel 4 called 'That'll teach 'em taking the role of the deputy head and housemaster in the fictional Charles Darwin school teaching 30 teenagers 1950s style.

I was awarded Chartered Science Teacher status in September 2008.

BSc (Goldsmiths' College, University of London)
PGCE (Chelsea College, University of London)
MEd (King's College, University of London)
CSciTeach (Chartered Science Teacher) 
FSB (Fellow of the Society of Biology)
FLS (Fellow of the Linnean Society of London)

I am a non-active, but elected fellow of:
The Geological Society of London (FGS)

Member Association for Science Education (ASE)
Member of the Society of Authors
Member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW)

Researcher ID Number: C-8252-2009 

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor - School Science Review
  • Executive Peer-Reviewer - Journal of Educational Technology and Society
  • Co-author of the best selling key stage 3 science programme for 11 - 14 year olds, Hodder Science


Community and Business

Articles at 'The Conversation: UK'

An obituary: farewell to your Local Education Authority The Conversation: UK 17th March 2016 

How to get teenagers to revise for exams during the holidays The Conversation: UK December 27th 2014

Today’s 13-year-olds are not as bad as we’re led to believe The Conversation: UK 24th November 2014

Conservatives’ crack team of superteachers will need the patience of Gandhi The Conversation: UK 16th October 2014

Are we focusing too much on examining practical science? The Conversation: UK 26th April 2014

Redacting exam questions on evolution is a slippery slope The Conversation: UK 11th March 2016


News Opinion articles and Media interviews

If all schools were good there would be no need for parents to have to make a choice
James Williams (Education) says we should get to a point where all schools are good and the natural choice for parents would be the school that is most convenient, just as it is in many countries around the world.
The Argus 06/03/16

All schools will become academies (clip begins 1hr 24m)
James Williams (Education) examines the proposal in the Chancellor's recent Budget to make all schools into academies. 
BBC Radio Sussex 16/03/2016

Death of local authority control of schools cause for concern
The Argus (Print p.10) 17/03/16

Secondary-school lottery (starts 1h 43m)
James Williams (Education) explains the complexities of the schools admissions system in Brighton & Hove and argues that it has to change. 
BBC Sussex 'Breakfast' 30/03/2016

Brighton parents and teachers start campaign against turning all schools into academies
James Williams (Education) claims that the forced academisation of secondary schools would remove qualified teacher status, which could lead to variations in teaching practices across schools. 
Brighton and Hove News 08/04/2016 

Forget party politics: I'm voting by individual in local elections
James Williams (Education) explains why he will base his voting in the upcoming local elections on the quality of the individual candidate rather than their party.
The Argus 15/04/2016

Discussion on identity doesn’t mean lifelong lifestyle choices
James D Williams (Education) argues that gender is a complex issue. Asking about gender does not mean forcing a choice of gender on to children
The Argus 22/04/16

Parental influence is essential to the health of our schools
James D Williams (Education) says parents should lead the fight for all schools to be good. Then a catchment area will be merely an administrative tool and not a threat.
The Argus (print - p.10) 30/04/2016

The key difference between examinations and assessments
James Williams (Education) says that while teachers should be assessing their pupils' progress on a day-to-day basis, formal testing should only be carried out sparingly.
The Argus (print - p.10, attached) 04/05/2016 
+ BBC Radio Sussex (clip begins at 1hr 20m 30s)

Government uses children as tests for our teachers 
James Williams (Education) says that while teachers should be assessing their pupils' progress on a day-to-day basis, formal testing should be carried out sparingly. 
The Argus (print - p.10) 07/05/2016

Term time holidays (clip begins at 46m 45s)
James Williams (Education) is interviewed about a recent court case relating to families taking children on holidays in term time.
BBC Radio Sussex 13/05/2016 
+ BBC Radio Surrey (same clip)

Family time is important, so let head teachers rule on holidays
James Williams (Education) underlines the importance of family time. The loss of a few days of school could be to the benefit of the child, so let Heads decide.
The Argus (18/05/2016)

It's not the name that matters - it's the power of the DFE
James Williams (Education) discusses Brighton and Hove City Council's plans to create a co-operative academy trust in the city, warning that this would lead to a loss of independence for Brighton's schools. 
The Argus (print - p.10) 11/06/2016 

Cut burden of bureaucracy and free teachers to do their job
James Williams (Education) explores the issues that are leading teachers across England to strike tomorrow.
The Argus 30/06/2016

Welcome to a new era of non-Etonian and Oxbridge politics
James Williams (Education) hails the end of an era of politics dominated by privately-educated elites. 
The Argus (print - p.10) 12/07/2016

We cannot let bean counters destroy our children’s education
James Williams (Education) argues that the announced closure of Pells CE Primary school in Lewes ‘justified’ with reference to ‘economic viability’, is a failure of local democracy.
The Argus (22/07/16)